Sports Media Stories to Watch in 2019: Economics

Sports Media Stories to Watch in 2019: Economics

by mike in boston / @mikeinbostonemail

Good morning sports media fans. 

This is the final instalment of a series on sports media stories to watch in 2019. Thanks to everyone who weighed in on part one (on the future of Damien Cox) and part two (on podcasting and the future of conventional radio).

Part three focuses on the evolving economics of sports media in Toronto, and to a larger extent in Canada. In this post we will cover where the biggest changes are coming and which segments of the industry are most vulnerable. As always, comments and corrections welcome below.

 

The Network Wars

 

Over the past several years we have grown accustomed to duelling press releases by Sportsnet and TSN, with each claiming victory as the #1 something or other. However in each of the past three years Sportsnet has claimed for itself the prestigious title of “most watched specialty network”. The 2017 victory lap was described as follows:

“For the period of January 1 to December 31, 2017, all Sportsnet networks collectively delivered a 5.2 audience share and an average minute audience of 193,000, marking a 29% lead over its closest competitor”

A year later, TSN claimed the title for 2018:

“TSN remains Canada’s most-watched specialty network in 2018, as the average audience of the network’s five national feeds lead those of its closest competitor by +13%”

A naive reader could be forgiven for becoming confused about how TSN “remains” #1 if SN was #1 the previous year. Both press releases cite the same source: Numeris, the industry’s self-created measurement monster.  Their process involves taking the ratings for every channel for every week of the year and then dividing that to generate an “average audience”.

When you factor in offsetting programming like highlights shows, desk shows, game reruns, and radio on TV, a lot of the week yields negligible ratings gains over the competition. The real advantage comes from live programming. The higher the number of big games on your network over the year, the better chance of winning the average audience trophy at the end of 52 weeks.

If you do the math on the two press releases you end up with the following averages (note: both networks employ Hollywood math, as explained here, so don’t take these numbers as absolutely factual):

SN:      2017 = 193,000 ; 2018 = 152,000

TSN:    2017 = 150,000 ; 2018 = 172,000

If you zoom out a little it looks like this:

SN:      2015 = 159,000 ; 2016 = 166,000 ; 2017 = 193,000 ; 2018 = 152,000

TSN:    2015 = 141,000 ; 2016 = 144,000 ; 2017 = 150,000 ; 2018 = 172,000

We can certainly debate what these numbers mean, but one thing is now clear: getting the NHL deal has not put Sportsnet in the clear #1 position.

When Scott Moore left Sportsnet in late 2018 he cited the network’s rank as proof that his job was done. If that was the goal, then TSN retaking the #1 spot in 2018 means the $5.2 billion dollar investment has been a failure. This might partly explain Moore’s hasty departure from Sportsnet and the lack of a ready replacement.

What is most striking is that Sportsnet’s time in the #1 chair coincides with the Blue Jays’ playoff run and the resurgence of general interest in the team. All 162 Jays games are on Sportsnet. As we all know, the 2018 Jays were hard to watch.

This suggests that the key to national ratings dominance is not hockey but baseball. It remains to be seen if the Raptors will ever emerge as a national draw. Right now the rest of Canada doesn’t care. 

This fits with what we already know about the country’s interest in the NHL. Most people root for their own hockey team but won’t reliably watch another team during the regular season. Regular season games are split between SN and TSN in most markets. There is a significant subset of Canadians who will tune in to root for any Canadian team in the playoffs, but as the HNIC numbers show, these same folks won’t watch in droves if a Canadian team is not playing.  

With the Leafs poised to go on a long playoff run in the next few years we will get a peek at how this affects Sportsnet’s national ratings. However the most stable way to win the ratings war for Sportsnet is to have a Jays team that is worth watching. Of note, the current Blue Jays administration has chosen to tank for the next while, eating contract dollars and avoiding free agent spending while waiting for the next generation of talent to emerge. From a business standpoint, this is going to be rough for Sportsnet. 

Leaving aside the sports they split, there is an interesting contrast developing at the two networks. TSN has lots of properties that resonate both inside and outside of Toronto: the NFL, international soccer championships, the CFL playoffs, and the World Juniors. The huge ratings from these properties explain how they are able to remain competitive despite not having national hockey rights in a hockey mad country. Over at SN, they have the Jays, MLB playoffs, and the NHL playoffs and national broadcasts. 

 The main thing to watch in 2019 is how the swing back to TSN as #1 will affect Sportsnet. While we roll our eyes at these meaningless titles, advertisers do not. As we saw when Sportsnet had to hand out give-backs due to poor ratings on HNIC, this had knock-on effects throughout the whole network. Sportsnet Magazine was shuttered and a bunch of people lost their jobs.

With Scott Moore gone it will be very easy for a newcomer to heap blame for the decline on the previous regime, and then make big changes to get the ship back in the right direction. This kind of uncertainty is not good for people. I hope Sportsnet sees the ratings as part of the ebb and flow of fickle audiences but that’s easy for me to say. I don’t answer to shareholders. 

 

The Digital Takeover

 

The Globe reported this week that cable subscriptions are down 20% over the last 5 years. Rogers and Bell are vulnerable to each cutting of the cord, since this hits them in two different wallets. First, as cable suppliers, and second as content providers who receive a hefty subscriber fee for each person who watches TSN or SN. 

Both networks offer standalone (Over The Top) digital subscriptions in the $20-$30 range. Neither network is releasing numbers on how many people have signed up. By contrast Bell is proudly touting that 2.3 million Canadians have signed up for their Crave TV streaming service. This suggests that the TSN Direct numbers are not worth bragging about.

The main question that media watchers are asking is whether digital subscriptions will be sufficient to offset the revenue lost by cord-cutting. According to the Globe, the industry is trying to “manage the decline” at this time, but are not interested in slashing the price of cable. Rather, their proposed solution is to bundle cable and internet to weaken the incentive to cut the cord. If you’re going to pay $75 a month for internet and then add on streaming services you might as well just pay $150 for cable and internet together and get all the content you want, including all the sports.

The problem with this approach is that the content people want is found on streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, etc. As such people are going to be paying for streaming anyway, which will lead most consumers to question why they need cable. The obvious answer is to skate where the puck is going and to bundle internet service and streaming. So if you’re BCE then offer Crave + TSN Direct when you sign up for Bell flavoured internet. Rogers shut down their streaming app Shomi in 2016 and have been investing in Comcast’s X1 technology, which is essentially a cable-based “smart” TV product. 

With newspapers we saw that a huge amount of money disappeared in the transition from print to digital. Traditional advertisers were skeptical of the future of the internet and Google and Facebook eventually swooped in and soaked up all the ad revenue. At the same time, readers saw decreasing value in the what papers were offering with so much information being available online.

TV is in a parallel position right now. Their traditional model was to produce programming people wanted to see and sell it both to consumers and to advertisers. Consumers are telling cable companies they are losing interest in the traditional model, and these companies are slowly rolling out digital alternatives. The really interesting question is what happens to advertisers. The most popular streaming services have been ad-free from the start. Would you still pay for Netflix if you had to sit through unstoppable ads? Would you be willing to pay more for an ad-free experience?

To bring this back to sports, so much of the revenue in sports media is driven around commercial television. Think of all the panel shows, the highlights packages, the desk shows, the pre and post game shows, and so on. All of that is funded by commercials. As people move to digital there is the possibility that lots of that revenue will disappear, as it did with the newspapers. We’ve already seen what disappointing ratings did to jobs at Sportsnet after Year 2 of the NHL deal. If it’s true that the industry is prepping for big subscriber losses, what will that do to TSN and SN?

 

The New Economy

 

As I wrote about last time, podcasting continues to change people’s consumption habits in exciting ways. The main concern is whether there is a viable business model there. Apparently there is:

What is fascinating about the Ringer model is that podcasts are integrated into the rest of their content. Here’s a good example. If you go to their NBA page today (after the deadline) you’ll find a blend of written, podcast, and video content. Rather than being an afterthought podcasts are on an equal footing to the rest of what they produce. 

If you compare this approach with what the networks and papers are doing, the contrast is stark. Sportsnet is pivoting to podcasts to an extent but  a deluge of disposable content dominates their website on a daily basis. TSN.ca is a design nightmare, with video and audio clips dominating most of the space. The papers have no podcast strategy despite the Ringer proving that this can be a viable revenue stream.

This puts The Athletic in an interesting position. It is a digital native publication that is now in its third year of offering an ad-free reading experience at a very reasonable price.

The big question is whether their business model is sustainable at $12 a month or the bargain price of $72 for the year. According to recent job postings on the site, they are heavily invested in podcasting. But can you make money on podcasts without bundling in ads? Will that break the agreement between the company and its subscribers of an ad-free experience? Or, will they try to spin podcasts off into a separate (premium?) subscription?

The Athletic is moving into the important stage of trying to retain subscribers who were lured in with steep discounts. It will be very interesting to see how their model evolves during the transition. My original subscription was $40CAD for Year 1 and my retention offer for Year 2 was $29CAD. There was no subsequent retention offer for Year 3.

As the company runs out of venture capital cash, they will need to convince subscribers that paying full price is worth it. A robust podcast suite with targeted ads seems like a good way to supplement their subscriber income. There is, of course, the enduring possibility that the low prices at The Athletic are a play to get as many readers as possible before getting absorbed by a content platform like Facebook or Twitter or Yahoo. That would be a pretty big change for subscribers. 

This brings me back to the papers. Currently there is no way to pay just for the sports section. The Star and The Globe have beefed up their paywalls lately, with The Sun being the most generous with their free offerings. The Sun is also the cheapest digital subscription, as covered here

Despite being free or cheap for sports readers, The Sun sports department killed it in 2018. They sent their reporters to all major events, home and away. By contrast, The Star and the Globe had many of their key people writing from the couch throughout the year.

We have debated the merits of spending on travel here quite a bit. If you look at the Sun’s Jays coverage in 2018 then you have a convincing argument that it was a good investment. The duo of Rob Longley and Steve Buffery have been doing a great job on the Jays, breaking several stories that others were not going to touch.

With Richard Griffin leaving The Star for a job with the Jays and Bob Elliott no longer writing about the team there is a huge gap in the marketplace. These were the two most respected voices on the Jays in Canada. It will be interesting to see if The Star follows The Sun’s strategy and re-assign someone with some name-recognition, like Feschuk, or if they simply walk away from that kind of coverage and hope that no one notices.

What they likely won’t do is make a splashy replacement hire. And this is the problem that all papers face when someone leaves or retires. With each departure they become less and less relevant, which in turn makes it harder and harder to motivate people to subscribe. 

None of the papers are participating in the new economy in sports media. There are no specialized podcasts, and there is no standalone digital product for sports readers. Will 2019 be the year we see a major reduction in sports coverage by the legacy outlets? I hope not.

Over to you: how do you see the economics of sports media evolving in 2019? How have your own consumption habits changed?


thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)

photo credit: Al Bello/Getty Images

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 28
  • comment-avatar
    Mike V 2 months ago

    Not sure where you are getting this historical ratings numbers but they are very different than what Sportsnet reported at the time.

    Given that The Movie Network was re-branded as Crave in the Fall, I would not at all be surprised if Bell is including linear cable subscribers in that 2.3mm number. The release is quite muddled and I believe something around 1.5mm subs last I looked.

    Why do we think HNIC had anything to do with Sportsnet magazine? Completely separate businesses. They shuttered it to save money and because they can. Both Telecoms have continued to cut bodies at the nets when ratings go up and when they down.

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    Derrick 2 months ago

    Are we getting a deep dive of the media’s take on the Raptors trade?

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    Mario 2 months ago

    Thanks MLB for another great read. Personally I believe most fans really don’t care what all these one sided numbers really mean and which side is putting them out all have there own spin.
    The only ones that care as you stated are the shareholders,and the next unemployed person who loses there job on fault of there own. On who gets the next NHL deal will be interesting and how much they pay,more than likely Roger’s, Bell and the CBC all in on the action.

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    Big fan of the Ringer (and Grantland before that). Bill Simmons seems to have married print with podcasts in an almost perfect way. What’s even more interesting is how he has mixed sports with pop culture (tv, movies, music, etc.) He may be an insufferable Pats fan, but the man knows how to build things and is generally a good listen/read. He’s also brought in lot of other good hosts and characters (I don’t even gamble but I love listening to Cousin Sal). The Ringer sets the standard for me.

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    Gary M 2 months ago

    As a poster here documented awhile back, a Leaf run deep into the playoffs would remedy SN’s revenue problems.

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    If you’re the CEO of a communications company you would think allowing 1050 to communicate with listeners would be a top priority. George Cope bungled the NHL rights deal and continues stumbling along with TSN 1050. Sing along with me to 1050’s catchy new tune: ‘Grab Your coffee or your cup of tea and tune to ten fifty as long as you’re between Woodbine and Dufferin St, and 401 to the lake.’

    Fix the signal. I have no idea how much it would cost but it’s only money. If someone proposed it at a Bell board meeting, it wouldn’t even be noticed, it would just get approved with a few nods and they’d move on to the next line item. Sure, the app works, but who’s going to listen to the damn app in their car and risk getting their license suspended for three days? When fans leave the Jays game do they fart around with some clumsy app or do they just hit a button on their dash to tune to 590?

    Build it and they will come. Greg Brady once Tweeted out that you wouldn’t believe how much switching to an FM signal gets talked about. Do it. Spare me the CRTC regulations about ownership. Change the laws. Hire a team of lobbyists. Show you’re serious. Tell the appropriate supplier you want to match or beat the signal strength of 590. The supplier will respond with one thing: a number. Sign a purchase order. Problem solved. It is that easy Mr. Cope if you gaf. We all know how approachable George Cope is. Save this task for Chris Schultz who is the least vertically challenged of the TSN personalities. He needs to grab Cope by the shoulders, get his attention, look him squarely in the eyes and say ‘What are you even doing with your life bro?’

    If TSN truly wants to be the number one sports brand in Canada they would do whatever it takes to leverage their top personalities. Like it or not, Toronto is the heartbeat of the country and TSN 1050 should be an important component of the heartbeat of the TSN brand. Why bother to trot out all these insiders to let them talk to nobody? Better to let them stay home and get rest so they are better prepared to perform on television. It’s like asking Dreger to get out of bed at 6 AM to drive in from Brookline in rush hour to stand on an apple box at Yonge & Queen to deliver his analysis of the Matthews contract. The only difference is, more people would be listening and Dreger would need a good parka. I think Duthie is like McDavid right now, scratching the days past into the wall of his cinderblock cell waiting for his contract to expire so he can go to a winning team.

    This last issue is more global and not easily fixed. I’ve been slowly getting the feeling and the sense that the TSN TV brand is beginning to slip. TSN’s heart isn’t beating at the same strength. Perhaps having hockey on Saturday nights is very slowly strengthening the Sportsnet brand. If George Cope really did have 5.2 billion on the table for the NHL rights deal, where the hell are those dollars being spent now? Does sending Mark Masters to Wimbledon with a camera operator cost forty million dollars? Another sixty million to send Duthie to Augusta? Not. Do a damn panel from Wimbledon if you’re serious about covering all sports. TSN is starting to feel like a third year project by Ryerson students.

    And the remotes they’ve been doing from the homes of their personalities is so weak that it would benefit their brand better if they didn’t do them at all. TSN has technicians on salary and could quite easily take one afternoon a year and go to Button’s house, Dreger’s house, Seravalli’s house, to set up the same camera and lighting. Such a simple thing to do. Seravalli’s head fills every inch of the screen and he is so brightly lit he looks like an over-lit Casper. Button is on a fish eye lens and you have press your face to the screen to find him. And Dreger is also over-lit. Damn amateur hour. The camera and lighting are worthy of a blogger’s Youtube channel. And TSN’s website is so 2008. Internet aging is worse than dog years. If TSN’s web site is 11 years old, that’s at least 110 years old in Internet years. In travel terms, it’s akin to sending James Duthie in a horse and buggy to Augusta to cover the Masters. George, buddy, whatever the most cutting edge web page is, go out and replicate it. It’s that god damned simple. This is your user interface with the next generation. Embarrassing. Find your damn game.

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    Liberty Village Bob 2 months ago

    Another positive article about The AThletic? Are they paying you for all this advertising?

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    Liberty Village Bob 2 months ago

    I think we are seeing the slow death of sports channels. Ad revenue is going to keep shrinking. How can they afford those crazy rights deals if the ratings don’t bring in more cash$? I can see a day when it’s all replays and highlights until 6pm.

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    Justin 2 months ago

    I was an early adopter of The Athletic, and I have no issue paying for the quality content they produce. Their written content and platform is so far and away better than the product newspapers are putting out that it’s become an apples-to-oranges comparison. Newspapers got themselves in to the mess they’re in because they put out all their content for free for many years, but this problem is now exacerbated by the fact that their content is no longer worth paying for. It’s a problem with no easy answer. For now, I can’t imagine not having a subscription to The Athletic, and that’s not going to change.

    In a similar vein to how I can’t see myself ever paying for a newspaper subscription, I also can’t see myself paying for cable. If there were a way to pay for only the sports channels at a reduced price from your typical cable bundles – so the TSN/Sportsnet channels, NFL/MLB networks, Golf Channel, etc. – that’s something I’d be interested in.

  • comment-avatar

    @ Yaz.

    Excellent post and a good read. Thanks for taking the time to put it together.

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    My sense is that the newspaper industry is, generally speaking, in financial distress primarily because of the change in technology. Their business model could not withstand those changes and accordingly, any strategy to adapt is doomed. I don’t think whether or not newspapers did or did not give access to their stories for free would have made much of a difference.

    I base this opinion on the historic sources of revenues for newspapers. Despite what many people appear to believe, subscribers accounted for only about 21% of 2003’s total revenues. (All data is for the US newspaper industry). The major sources were classified ads (28%), national advertising (14%), and retail (37%). By 2012, the sources of revenues had changed significantly: classified ads (14%); national advertising (10%); retail (35%); and subscriptions (41%). However, overall revenues declined by 43% from USD 57.4 billion to USD 32.8 billion. While total online and subscription revenues increased by USD 1.4 billion, that was more than offset by the almost USD 26 billion loss in revenues from classifieds, national advertising, and retail advertising. (Data per Pew Research).

    Craig’s List, Kijiji, and other providers have pretty well wiped out classifieds as a source of revenue for newspapers. Also, my understanding is that classifieds was the highest margin business for newspapers. Print advertisers have almost halved their allocation to newspapers as a medium to reach customers.

    Certainly some newspapers are having some success in the digital area. The New York Times is one example. However, their overall revenues dropped from USD 3.2 billion in 2003 to USD 1.7 billion in 2017.

    I think the major issue for the newspaper industry is that it has operated on a business model that asked subscribers to account for approximately 20% of the revenues. Now, during a seismic shift in technology, the newspapers need subscribers to provide 75% or 80% of the revenues. At a time when many people want stuff for free, that is an unrealistic expectation.

    To bring it back to sports, the sports departments of newspapers have suffered from the same macro factors. Declining revenues have resulted in resource cutbacks for all areas of a newspaper, including sports. I do not expect to see much new in the sports-related offerings of our local papers in 2019.

    I am not sure if the newspaper industry could have done much of anything to stave off the inevitable. Paywalls, better writers, more youthful scribes, podcasts, etc. were probably not the long-term solution. Like the horse and buggy industry, newspapers can tinker around the edges but the Model T/new technology will win.

  • comment-avatar
    Steve 2 months ago

    Justin…Google IPTV. It’s accessible (plenty of providers), cheap ($20/mth), and provides everything you’re looking for and a bit more. I cut the cord almost a year ago and couldn’t be happier.

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    Original Mitch 2 months ago

    I was thinking the other day how irrelevant tsn and Sportsnet seem to have become, at least in their “battle for Canada’s top sports network”. It’s so phoney and corporate. Nothing about this feels real or relevant to the viewer. What I mean is both try to make a splash with either the acquisition of live content or some new “talent” on-board and yet ratings teeter-tatter, a blip here, a blip there, but nothing of relevancy. Reason I was thinking of this is hockey day in Canada and the sheer amount spent by Rogers to send crews to a variety of location across the country, Ron Maclean hosting with perpetual wood that day, all Tuesday hockey games featuring Canadian teams and yet… was it worth it? Did it make any difference in terms of viewers and exposure? Were people on Sunday talking about it (other than rogers employees self gloating all over Twitter)? Remember the hype for Jay and Dan? Oh yeah they are still on reading highlights at midnight. Huh. Remember how innovative and different HNIC was gonna be once rogers took over? Huh, intermission panel talking about the CBA. How innovative. I get these giant companies have giant budgets they need to blow annually or risk getting less funding the next year because ratings won’t be affected either way, but just seems to irrelevant and petty now with so many other forms of getting news/highlights. A team does well (blue jays) ratings are up. A team does bad (blue jays) ratings are down. It’s really that simple and all the bells and whistles are just unnecessary 

  • comment-avatar
    Original Mitch 2 months ago

    lol, not sure why it autocorrected to Tuesday, but it was supposed to say ‘the days’ hockey games featuring Canadian teams.

  • comment-avatar

    @Bob Canuck. Very true. Also, there seems to be a positive relationship slowly developing between the rise of fake news and the perceived value of paywall provided services. As a subscriber based service, The Athletic has done well. However, a subscription based service that analyzes their success solely on the number of subscribers (obviously, the quality of their content is another measure of success) is already behind the curve of what’s coming. If the goal of The Athletic is to build up X amount of subscribers to sell it to Facebook that would lead to two things: the owners of The Athletic would cash a big check and The Athletic would immediately jump the shark and is likely doomed to fail. I have no problem with someone making money. I just hope the Athletic survives should they sell it.

    Facebook is increasingly becoming a site for Granddmothers and Grandfathers. Things change so fast in tech and media, and especially social media, that it is tough to keep up. Facebook won’t be any different. Whether you like Bill Gates or not, I think his quote is true: ‘We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.’ I hope The Athletic is continually innovating. They have almost hired enough local writers for me to subscribe.

  • comment-avatar
    Gary M 2 months ago

    Bob, that was outstanding.

  • comment-avatar

    Gary M,

    Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it.

  • comment-avatar

    @ Gary M.

    Second that. This week has produced some fine detailed informative responses. As someone who has no professional media experience; I have learned great deal.

  • comment-avatar
    bingo Bango Bongo 2 months ago

    What would a TSM thread be without contributions from Yaz and Original Mitch? Refreshing!

  • comment-avatar

    Good discussion. This is a really complex topic with lots of moving parts and angles.

    Of note, TV rights deal are still going up. MLB just resigned with FOX for more money. That’s mostly OTA (rather than cable), but includes some games on FS1 + social. The really interesting upcoming deals will be those involving ESPN. They have lost a ton of subscribers. Will that influence how much they want to spend on games that are mostly shown on cable? Or, will they reason that they need to keep spending to keep the subscribers they have? ESPN is insanely profitable for Disney so they can certainly afford it either way.

    Another thing to watch is that many TSN personalities signed 5 year deals to stay with Bell after Rogers got the HNIC package. Those will be up for renewal soon. I doubt McKenzie leaves TSN, but the others could still be enticed with the promise of more money and more exposure. Seeing Duthie at the Super Bowl for TSN seemed like a waste of everyone’s time, including the audience’s. Send Beirness or the two late night guys. If Duthie is on SN then he’s doing more hockey.

  • comment-avatar
    Original Mitch 2 months ago

    I can’t imagine ANY TSN major personality signing with Sportsnet. It seems to be that TSN, without the nhl rights, have become closer, unified and more determined to slay the proverbial dragon. Their coverage has actually been better and once again we’ll see their dominance with the trade deadline show coming up. Whether accurate or not, there is still the perception that TSN is THE sports network in this country and that Rogers is second rate. Cannot see a guy like Ferraro going back or anyone else for that matter. Initially the guys Rogers poached were more or less peripheral players on TSN roster. Unless there are MAJOR budget issues at Bell, can’t see Bob, Duthie or the rest moving.

  • comment-avatar

    @mib – Thx. That is new to me. I thought I had heard the top dogs at TSN had signed ten year deals. Five year deals mean some innerestin changes may be imminent. Does Dreger want to continue doing bad remotes from Brookline? Or does he want to be sitting next to Brian Burke during the second intermission of HNIC, the MNF of Canada?  Methinks the latter.

    But Dregs may want to consider another chess move ahead – if Dregs switches from skins to shirts then George Cope, holding a grudge, wildly outbids Sportsnet at the end of the 12 year deal and Dregs finds himself on the wrong side of NHL rights yet again! Dregs is hockey cnetric not everything centric like Duthie and Masters. Other thing to consider is how would that affect Dreger’s contract with NBC?  Too much. I need a nap now. 

    Thx bingo Bango

  • comment-avatar
    Raffi 2 months ago

    All else being equal, I’m much more of a TSN guy than Sportsnet. I think their personalities are in general more knowledgeable, likeable and relatable.  At the end of the day, this is key.  That being said, it is absolutely baffling to me how a corporation the size of Bell would operate mobile and web platforms for TSN as they currently are.  It is UNIMAGINABLY bad.  They need a major overhaul of both. 

  • comment-avatar
    Justin 2 months ago

    @Raffi

    Below is an archive of sportsnet.ca’s home page from nearly 10 years ago. Comparing them side by side, the 10 year old sportsnet site is eminently preferable to the current iteration of tsn.ca, even when it comes to video. TSN’s web presence is a joke.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20091201002029/http://www.sportsnet.ca/

    The link is also a nice throwback to “Sportsnet.ca’s third annual Hottest Female Athlete competition.” Don’t think that’d fly today.

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    Cirroc 2 months ago

    @Yaz, You think Dreger would prefer sitting next to Burke?  Burke is possibly the worst intermission entertainment option out there.  A bitter, out of touch ogre that harbours resentment towards the Leafs for firing him.  Like Original Mitch said, SN is still very much second rate.  Buying the NHL rights doesn’t automatically make your product better. 

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    “I can’t imagine ANY TSN major personality signing with Sportsnet.”

    Cmon. I’m sure there’s something to the idea of liking your work environment or coworkers and not wanting to leave, but 90% of the time people go to wherever pays them the most money.  And so should they! These people don’t have some Uber loyalty to Bell or Rogers.  

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    (Unless were talking an upstart or company that might not be around in a couple years obviously. But there’s no real career status downgrade going from TSN to Sportsnet).

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    “That’s the longest question I have ever been asked in my entire life “

    This is what Brian Burke said to Greg Brady during his weekly Wednesday appearance on the 590 morning show……………..in related news, apparently Burke has never been interviewed by JD Bunkis